You would also be well advised to understand that simply calling something by some other name does not change what it is.
That’s rich, given your repeated deployment of the Goldberg Principle (“You can prove any thesis to be true if you make up your own definitions of words”) throughout this exchange. You’ve also shown an unfortunate habit of turning to Jello when corrected. I directly quoted you on your assertion that the anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Nazis was “almost identical” to the anti- bourgeois rhetoric of the Bolsheviks, proved that was laughably false and your response was to deny you’d ever said it and try to move the goalposts.
You’ve stripped both fascism and Bolshevism of their respective substance in order to erase any distinction between them then insisted they’re the same. And the definition you created by playing this silly game — “the essence of fascism,” you’ve asserted, is merely a “state that controlled everything” — would apply to any tyranny and when this was pointed out, you simply deny it but make no case for your view (because, of course, there’s no case to be made for it).
The version of fascism you’ve presented here is, no kinder way to put it, largely a fairy-tale with little connection to the reality. You’ve asserted that “both Mussolini and Hitler practised socialism” and have described them as nationalizing most of their respective economies, both of which are not only false but consign to a Memory Hole the entire history of the rise of fascism. I’m not going to belabor the former; I’ll just drop in some things from my notes:
“…it could have appeared quite rational to the state authorities to create state firms [to meet state manufacturing demands]. For in that case, the state would have been able to save the large profits which in fact were paid to companies which engaged in the production for state demand. However, the state did not proceed along this path. There occurred hardly any nationalizations of formerly private firms during the Third Reich. In addition, there were not very many enterprises nearly created as pure state firms either.”
— Christoph Buchheim and Jonas Scherner, “The Role of Private Property in the Nazi Economy”
“In the six years between the Fascist victory in Germany and the outbreak of war, Nazism erected a system of production, distribution and consumption that defies classification in any of the usual categories. It was not capitalism in the traditional sense: the autonomous market mechanism so characteristic of capitalism during the last two centuries had all but disappeared. It was not State capitalism: the government disclaimed any desire to own the means of production, and in fact took steps to denationalize them. It was not socialism or communism: private property and private profit still existed. The Nazi system was, rather, a combination of some of the characteristics of capitalism and a highly planned economy. Without in any way destroying its class character, a comprehensive planning mechanism was imposed on an economy in which private property was not expropriated, in which the distribution of national income remained fundamentally unchanged, and in which private entrepreneurs retained some of their prerogatives and responsibilities in traditional capitalism.”
— Otto Nathan, “The Nazi Economic System” 1944
“A recurring question in the literature on Nazi economic policy is why the Nazis refrained from implementing a policy of wide-scale nationalization of private firms… It is worth noting that by rejecting large-scale nationalization, the Nazi government joined the mainstream in Western capitalist countries, which were, in the 1930s, more given to intervention through regulation and fiscal policy.”
— Germà Bel, “Against the mainstream: Nazi privatization in 1930s Germany”
Since you portrayed the Italian Institute for Industrial Reconstruction as a nationalization scheme:
“The leading banks, which had lent heavily to industry, had to be rescued in the early 1930s, as did many large industrial companies. Two new state-run holding companies, the Italian Industrial Finance Institute (Istituto Mobiliare Italiano; IMI) and the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale; IRI), were set up to bail out failing firms and to provide capital for new industrial investment; they also provided trained managers and effective financial supervision. Italy thus acquired a huge, state-led industrial sector, which was especially important in banking, steel, shipping, armaments, and the supply of hydroelectricity. However, these firms were not nationalized. Instead, they operated in the market as private companies and still had many private shareholders. In the long term they gave Italy a modern infrastructure — including roads and cheap energy — a sounder financial sector, and some efficient modern industries in expanding sectors such as chemicals and synthetic fibres.”
— Encyclopedia Britannica
Both the Italian and German fascists — like all fascists movements — were rabidly anti-socialist and rose to power by wiping out the far-left. After a disastrous initial effort, Italian Fascism became successful by reinventing itself as a movement of reactionary ex-soldiers who went around Italy physically destroying the socialists on behalf of business and the big landholders, who paid them generously for the service. The same money-men later financed the March on Rome. Mussolini’s murder of Matteotti is only one of the more infamous such deaths — the Fascists killed something like 2,000 people during their rise and as Mussolini consolidates power, they’re banned. In Germany, the Nazis employ “socialist” slogans and imagery in an effort to attract attention that was both cynical and, in some quarters, genuine and, as in Italy, proceed to ban, imprison, exile and murder Germany’s Communists, Social Democrats and non-Marxist socialists — those who would have brought about socialism. The story of the Nazis’ rise is that of an increasingly reactionary movement absorbing much of the German right while, financed by the German business class (not a socialist among them), progressively eliminating the radicals from their own ranks over and over again. Through the disputes with Otto Strasser, the Black Fronters, the crackdown on the “Second Revolution” movement, the blood purge during the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler, whom you pretend was a “socialist,” successively ordered the elimination of even the anti-capitalist wing of his party —those who actually bought into the faux-“socialism” it had made a show of peddling and who would have gladly enacted it.
And, as already covered, neither Hitler nor Mussolini ever established a socialist state, not even by the crude (and largely unsupportable) “nationalizes everything” definition of “socialism.” In America, of course, any progressive government regulation over the economy (besides, that is, the massive intervention necessary for the functioning of any capitalist state) is routinely decried as “socialism.” On your last pass, you provided an entirely unhelpful link to the Foundation for Economic Education, only one of the infinity of groups who, in the pay of the interests who benefit from people believing such rot, peddle it. Deploying the Goldberg Principle themselves, they try to define fascist states as “socialist” because those states tend to regulate the hell out of things. You nibble around that yourself but as definitions go, that’s a non-starter.
In reality, the fascists weren’t motivated by any socialist concerns at all. They neither profess nor enact any coherent economic doctrine, socialist or otherwise. Their economic policy is ad hoc, nothing more than a series of improvisations aimed at serving the needs (or perceived needs) of the moment. On this the experts agree. More stuff from my notes:
In “The Anatomy of Fascism,” Robert Paxton, one of the foremost living experts on fascism, wrote:
“This [economic policy] was the area where both fascist leaders [Hitler and Mussolini] conceded the most to their conservative allies. Indeed, most fascists — above all after they were in power — considered economic policy as only a means to achieving the more important fascist ends of unifying, energizing, and expanding the community. Economic policy tended to be driven by the need to prepare and wage war. Politics trumped economics… [F]ascist economic policy responded to political priorities, and not to economic rationale. Both Mussolini and Hitler tended to think that economics was amenable to a ruler’s will.”
In a 2015 interview with Vox, Paxton said “it’s hard to link those people [the fascists] to any one kind of economic idea.”
In “A History of Fascism 1914–1945,” historian Stanley Payne, who specializes in Spanish fascism but has written on the broader subject, writes that “economic policy under [Italian] Fascism did not chart an absolutely clear course.” Of Germany, Payne concludes “no completely coherent model of political economy was ever introduced in Nazi Germany.”
Daniel Woodley, from “Fascism & Political Theory”:
“…as a political innovation, fascism is distinguished by an absence of coherent economic ideology and an absence of serious economic thinking at the summit of the state. Not only are economic factors ALONE an insufficient condition of understanding fascism, but the decisions taken by fascists in power cannot be explained within a logical economic framework.”
Stuart Woolf, “The Nature of Fascism”:
“No comparative study exists of fascist economic systems. Nor is this surprising. For one can legitimately doubt whether it is appropriate to use so distinctive a term as ‘system’ when discussing fascist economics… Nor, in the economic field, could fascism lay claim to any serious theoretical basis or to any outstanding economic theoreticians.”
Woolf correctly describes fascist economics as “a series of improvisations, or responses to particular and immediate problems” and notes that “the actions of any single fascist regime… [were] so contradictory as to make it difficult to speak of a coherent and consistent economic policy in one country, let alone in a more general system…” And so on.
The policies of the fascist regimes had to do with achieving goals that had nothing whatever to do with socialism, principally achieving economic independence and preparing for war.
Above, you say “I do not consider wiki a reliable source,” but as I’ve already shown, you plagiarized Wiki in your last response, while leaving out the part that undermined your own assertion. While it’s good to see making progress on this matter, a little honesty would have perhaps been a better approach. Throughout this exchange, you’ve depended entirely upon quick Google searches to try to quickly learn these subjects. It leads you to things like the fake Hitler quote, the false assertions and absolutely outlandish comments like this:
“Hitler’s critiques of Marxist theory were almost always framed around his view that Marxism was not the correct way to do socialism. He accepted some Marxist principles and rejected others.”
Hitler despised Marxism, perhaps as much as or more than Jews; he made it very plain. He never sat around offering some reasoned “critiques of Marxism”; his “critiques” were a string of expletives, always ending with the notion that it should be stamped out as brutally as possible. And this exchange wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t punch up Google and pull out this worn-out standard-issue Goldbergist bullshit:
The 25 point plan of 1922 of the Nazi Party in Germany is pretty clear on nationalisation. Point 13 demands the nationalisation of all industries that had profited from the first war: That gave the party an open licence to nationalise almost any major company in Germany. Point 14 claims the right to a share of the profits to be dictated by the party from any private business. Point 17 outlines party plans to criminalise land speculation and to give the party the right to seize any land from any private owner at the discretion of the state. Point 20 promises that the state will take direct control of the entire education system.
The 25 point program is basically a socialist manifesto.
Not knowing anything of this history, you fall into the same trap as all the rest. One more lesson, then: The Nazis’ 25-point program was a propaganda document. Hitler kept it around as that — a propaganda tool — and in order to avoid infighting that would sometimes flare up, even declared it “unalterable” but he refused to reproduce or even discuss it in “Mein Kampf,” referring to it dismissively as “the so-called programme of the movement.” There is, of course, also a lot of actual Nazism in that program and actual Nazi ugliness, but the radical stuff isn’t any part of that. Hitler was “dismissive of notions of a specific political programme to be implemented,” wrote historian Ian Kershaw (“Hitler 1889–1936”).
“A good many paragraphs of the party program were obviously merely a demagogic appeal to the mood of the lower classes at a time when they were in bad straits and were sympathetic to radical and even socialist slogans… They were the ideas which Hitler was to find embarrassing when the big industrialists and landlords began to pour money into the party coffers, and of course nothing was ever done about them.” (William Shirer, “The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich”)
“[Hitler] was interested in [the working class and the lower middle class] as material for political manipulation. Their grievances and discontents were the raw stuff of politics, a means but never an end. Hitler had agreed to the Socialist clauses of the programme because in 1920 the German working class and the lower middle classes were saturated in a radical anti-capitalism; such phrases were essential for any politician who wanted to attract their support. But they remained phrases.” (Alan Bullock, “Hitler”)
“…the ‘inalterable’ party program had sounded ominous to them [the German capitalist class] with its promises of nationalization of trusts, profit sharing in the wholesale trade, ‘communalization of department stores and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders’ (as Point 16 read), land reform and the abolition of interest on mortgages. But the men of industry and finance soon learned that Hitler had not the slightest intention of honoring a single economic plank in the party program — the radical promises had been thrown in merely to attract votes.” (Shirer)
The program “would in the course of time be declared ‘unalternable’ and be in practice largely ignored” (Kershaw) as, “in power, the Nazis simply abandoned the socialist provisions of the 25-point programme and came to concentrate instead on romantic, nationalistic and highly ambivalent issues.” (Lee McGowan, “The Radical Right in German: 1870 to the Present”).